HP reschedules analyst meeting

CIOL Bureau
New Update

SAN FRANCISCO: Hewlett-Packard Co. has rescheduled a December meeting with

financial analysts for early next year so it can give more details of its plan

to buy Compaq Computer Corp., HP said on Friday.


A spokeswoman said HP had decided to delay the semiannual meeting last week,

before members of the founding Hewlett and Packard families came out in

opposition to the merger, and would carry out a series of regional meetings

instead of a single one.

"We wanted to be able to be farther along in the merger process and

provide additional detail for the merger, and also we had been hearing from

analysts security concerns around travel and end-of-year budget constraints at

their firms," a HP spokeswoman said.

"We are looking to combine the meetings with a road show that had long

been planned, tentatively for early January, and we will do several regional

meetings," the spokeswoman said. The merger plan had overcome some of the

early opposition among investors before Hewlett and Packard family members

publicly announced that they would vote against the deal, catalyzing new



Many analysts say it is now unclear whether the biggest computer merger in

history would go through.

The companies' management teams say the $20 billion all-stock deal would

create a high-end computer and technology services powerhouse, while detractors

say the firms would lose too many customers while integrating and be too focused

on personal computers while diluting the printing franchise.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said HP had started alerting

analysts last week, and he agreed security concerns were part of the issue.


"It also pushes up the date of the analyst meeting closer to the

expected shareholder vote on the deal -- which is good for HP, because it gives

them once last shot to pitch the deal to investors with the their latest and

greatest plans," he commented.

HP shares rose 64 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $18.99 in Friday New York Stock

Exchange trading. They have firmed from less than $17 since the Hewlett and

Packard declarations, which raised confidence among many merger opponents that

the deal would be scuttled. Shares in Compaq finished down 26 cents, or 3.3 per

cent, at $7.73.

Hewlett-Packard and Compaq boards and management say they remain committed.